Dentistry is one of many disciplines under medicine that specializes with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of different oral health problems. It encompasses the health of one’s dentition, oral mucosa, and other structures in the maxillofacial area. Since dentistry is a wide discipline, it branches out into different fields which requires different specialist. These specialists undergo specialty trainings to treat specific dental problems and provide different dental treatments. Your responsibility as a patient is that you should be observant and knowledgeable enough about the different oral health problems you might experience. This will help you identify what type of dentist do you need for the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Here is a list of dental specialists and the type of work that they do.
- General dentist – He/she is responsible for providing primary dental health care. This care includes preventive and maintenance dental care. He/she is the one who performs professional teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, simple root canals, teeth extractions and cavity fillings. He/she is also responsible for your annual oral examinations and the referrals you need to different dental specialists for your specific dental needs.
- Cosmetic dentist – He/she is responsible for the aesthetic care of your teeth. Some of the services he/she provides include teeth whitening, dental veneer, composite bonding and even a smile makeover.
- Endodontist – He/she specializes in the care and treatment of diseases and injuries of your dental pulp. An endodontist is responsible in performing root canals and other treatments needed to restore the health of your dental pulp.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon – He/she specializes in performing surgeries of the entire face, mouth and jaw structure. Most of the time, he/she is responsible in treating accident victims. Together with the cosmetic dentist, they perform reconstructive and dental implant surgery.
- Orthodontist – He/she specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of your misaligned teeth or malocclusions. He/she helps in straightening your teeth by applying braces or other dental corrective appliances.
- Pediatric dentist – He/she is responsible for the care of children’s dental health. He/she specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental problems present in young children and adolescents.
- Periodontist – He/she specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the gums. He/she is the one who performs scaling and root planing treatment, crown lengthening procedures and tissue and bone grafts in the mouth.
- Prosthodontist – He/she specializes in the repair and restoration of your natural teeth and replacement of missing teeth. He/she uses dental crown to restore the appearance and function of your natural teeth. On the other hand, he/she also performs treatments which use dental bridges, implants and dentures to replace missing teeth.
- Public Health dentist – He/she is responsible for dental health care awareness of the public. He/she organizes programs and activities to further educate the public of how to control and prevent dental diseases in the community level.
Now that you are enlightened with the different dental specialists and the care that they provide, you will be knowledgeable when your general dentist refers you one.